The Final Comedown (1972)

The Final Comedown


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When an underqualified white man is given the job that Johnny Johnson (Billy Dee Williams) is infinitely more qualified for, the young black man becomes involved in a violent, radical movement to rise up against the perpetrators of racism.

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Oscar Williams
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 5, 2005



as Johnny Johnson

as Billy Joe Ashley

as Rene Freeman

as Mr. Freeman

as Mrs. Johnson

as Michael Freeman

as Mr. Johnson

as Michael Freeman

as Dr. Smalls
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Final Comedown

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

May 16, 2003
AV Club
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

September 21, 2005
International Press Academy

Audience Reviews for The Final Comedown

From The Blaxpolitation Triple Feature Collection put out by Diamond Entertainment, is a serious film about black revolutionaries and not really an action film. Billy Dee plays a young man fed up with racism who decides to take things into his own hands. It's fairly gritty and realistic without exploiting the characters but still it's not that interesting either and Billy Dee's character, though maltreated by white authority figures, doesn't really come off as sympathetic. It's also hurt by it's extremely low budget. Still, it's interesting to look at as it's a good depicttion of 1970s social issues. 2 Stars 7-12-04 (Updated)

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


This movie, as noted above, suffers from being overly preachy and inchoate. There's also a disturbing amount of "dead" footage that should have been left on the editing room floor.

** spoilers ahead ** Anyway, the core of the film revolves around Johnny Johnson's (Billy Dee Williams) desires to "stick to the man". Unfortunately, they never really do an adequate job of convincing the viewer (in my case anyway) that Johnny has it rough enough that he should foment a riot and kill people. Sure, he's passed over for a job that he's qualified for, and he's arrested by the cops for no reason... but other than that, his life seems to be pretty decent. In fact, he spends the majority of one day going to a party, dancing with a hot lady, going out to eat, buying some clothes, then making sweet love to the aforementioned lady. If that's indicative of "the man" keeping you down, then sign me up! The narrative is told via a largely confusing series of flashbacks that don't make a whole lot of sense -- primarily because a character will flashback to incidents/people that they weren't even a party to. For example, Luanna (Pamela Jones) asks Johnny to explain a comment he made during a conversation that she couldn't possibly been privy to. About half-way through the movie I simply stopped trying to make sense of it.

Like most of the movies I comment on, I was hoping this was going to be in the "so good it's bad" category. While it was close, it falls short of true ineptitude... which is my way of saying the movie wasn't that bad (though it wasn't that good either).

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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